October 28, 2022

Shoiken teahouse: Katsura-rikyu (Kyoto)

Shoiken teahouse: Katsura-rikyu (Kyoto)

Shoi-ken ("meaning of a smile" house) is a rural-style teahouse which is designed for entertaining guests in springtime by enabling them to enjoy the hazy spring moon and the colorful spring flowers blooming on the opposite shore. 

Unlike the strict aristocratic taste of the other buildings, this teahouse has the appearance of a humble peasant's cottage with a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. 

In front of this teahouse, an artificial square pond is provided, the shore of which is a landing place made of straight-hewn stones and is equipped with the two stone-steps for landing from a small boat.

The name "Shoi-ken" was derived from the phrase "a spring smile spills out from a single branch" of a classical Chinese poem. 

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